Colored belt matches shall each normally consist of two rounds of 60-90 seconds (Black belts two to three rounds of 2-3 minutes), with a 30-60 second rest in between rounds. National and International competition requires a competition ring size of eight meters by eight meters.
All contestants shall wear approved trunk protector, head protector, groin guard, forearm protector, shin-instep protector, and a mouth protector. WTF approved Hand gloves are optional, and required for all Black belt divisions. Jewelry is to be removed and finger and toenails are to be neatly trimmed. Eye glasses are not permitted. Contestants shall have one (1) minute to conform.
Legal Techniques (Duk-jeom)
One (1) point shall be awarded for each closed fist or kicking technique delivered accurately and with sufficient power to the entire colored area of the torso protector, in the absence of any violations. Sufficient power in the absence of Electronic sensors is defined as abrupt displacement due to the impact of the strike. Force of impact using electronic sensors in the trunk protector is measured by the level of force by which points are scored varying by weight division and gender. Authorized scoring implements are the forefist and any part of the foot below the ankle.
Points shall be awarded for each kicking technique delivered to the all sides of the head above the collarbone, including the facial area. Under Senior (Full-contact) rules for W.T.F. and U.S.A.T. sanctioned tournaments, one (1) point is awarded for legal strikes to the trunk protector, three (3) points are awarded for legal kicks to the head, with (1) additional bonus point awarded for all valid turning kicks (ie. Spin hook, Spin-round kicks/natobaun). No punching to the head or kicking below the belt is allowed.
One score will automatically be awarded for legal techniques which result in staggering or a knockdown. A knockdown is defined as an 8-count required by the Referee due to the strike impact of a valid technique, whereupon any part of the body other than the foot touches the ground. In the case of either a knockdown or staggering, a competitor must demonstrate the ability to continue the match safely, or the referee will continue the count to 10, there upon declaring the winner.
Scoring techniques shall not be delivered to unauthorized areas including directly to the spine. Foot sweeps and throws are not allowed. When a contestant scores through the use of a prohibited act, the point(s) shall be annulled.
Warnings (*Kyong-go) +1 Point awarded to Opponent for every 2 declarations:
1. Falling down.
2. Avoiding or delaying the match (ie. turning the back to avoid a valid attack, bending below waist level or crouching, pretending injury).
A penalty will be assessed for a contestant requesting to stop the match for any reason.
3. Grabbing, Holding, or Pushing the opponent 4. Attacking below the waist.
5. Butting or attacking with the knee.
6. Hitting the opponent's face with hand or fist.
7.Crossing the Boundary Line with both feet.
8. Uttering undesirable remarks or any misconduct on the part of contestant or coach.
A penalty shall be assessed if a coach leaves the Coach's zone and/or chair. A coach may indicate a review request of a possible point scored,
or lack thereof, by standing and holding up his colored protest card.
9. Lifting the knee to avoid a valid attack or impede the progress of an attack, as well as lifting a leg without attacking for more than 3 seconds. This includes lifting the leg and hopping on the other leg for more than 3 seconds, and lifting the leg and doing cut kick action without actual attacking for more than 3 seconds.
The referee will declare "Fight" after 5 seconds of inactivity, and after 10 seconds more of inactivity, the athlete who has given up ground by backing up will receive a warning.
Deductions (*Gam-jeom) +1 Point awarded to Opponent for each declaration:
1. Throwing down the opponent by grabbing the opponent's attacking foot in the air with the arm or by pushing the opponent with the hand.
2. Intentionally attacking the opponent after declaration of "Kal-yeo" (break).
3. Intentionally attacking the opponent's face with fist.
4. Attacking a fallen opponent.
5. Intentionally Kicking below the waist.
6. Interrupting the progress of the match on the part of a contestant or a coach.
7. Violent or extreme remarks or behavior on the part of a contestant or a coach.
1. Total of 5 deduction/warning points.
2. Competitor or coach intentionally disobeys the referee or the competition rules. Competitor has (1) minute to conform.
3. An intentional, illegal strike to an opponent which results in rendering him or her unable to continue the match.
4. Manipulating, or attempting to manipulate an electronic scoring system.
(5) **An excessive kick to a Junior's head which results in abrasion or bleeding.
**Junior Safety Rules regarding contact to the Head:
U.S.A.T. (U.S.A. Taekwondo) Junior rules state that no contact to the head is allowed for ages 11 and under. Light, controlled contact is allowed to the head area (entire circumference) for colored (non-black) belt levels age 12-17, and "Ultra" divisions age 35 and over. Full Contact rules apply to all Belt levels age 18-34, and all Black belts age 12 and over.
Junior Rules include a non-differential point scoring system, with only one (1) point awarded for each legal scoring technique, and without awarding of bonus points. Excessive contact to the head will stop the time in order for a penalty to be issued, rather than for an 8-count.
NOTE: Inability or lack of desire to continue the match due to a legal techinique is not grounds for the disqualification of an opponent.
The winner is determined by superior point totals of successful hits (solid contact) using hands and feet.
With an Electronic scoring system, a point must be confirmed by a minimum of two corner judges within a one (1) second "scoring window" in order to be recorded onto the Scoreboard. Once a scoring window is opened upon one judge indicating a point seen, this window will remain open for one (1) second to be confirmed, regardless of the match duration time. Penalty points will be taken into account at the time they are recorded, and will appear on the scoreboard. International competition will include the use of an instant video replay system.
1. In the case of the tie score by deduction points, the winner shall be the contestant awarded any point or more points throughout the course of the match.
2. In the case of a tie score other than case 1. above [where both contestants received the same number of points and/or decuctions] the winner shall be decided by one (1) addtitional Overtime/Golden point round. The winner will be declared as the first contestant to be awarded a legal point during this additional round, absent any violations.
3. Absent an Electronic Scoring system, and in the case of a tie score other than case 1. above [where both contestants received the same number of points and/or deductions] the winner shall be decided by all refereeing officials based on superiority throughout all rounds of the match.
4. Refering to case 3. [in case that the decision of the judges is not unanimous, the referee shall decide the winner based upon the competitor who has shown the initiative through:
a. Technical dominance of an opponent
through aggressive match management.
b. The greater number of techniques executed.
c. The use of the more advanced techniques,
both in difficulty and complexity.
d. Display of the better competition manner.
Penalties and prohibited acts are declared by the referee. In the case of multiple penalties being committed simultaneously, the heavier penalty is declared. Penalties are divided into Kyong-go (warning infraction) and Gam-jeom (infraction penalty). Two "Kyong-go" are counted as one (+1) additional point awarded to opposing contestant. However, the last odd Kyong-go is not counted in the grand total. One "Gam-jeom" is counted as one (+1) additional point awarded to opposing contestant. All "Gam-jeom" are counted in the grand total.